"The General Secretary of the New Patriotic Party (NPP), Mr Kwabena Agyei Agyepong,"
The General Secretary of the New Patriotic Party (NPP), Mr Kwabena Agyei Agyepong, has broken his silence on allegations of diversion of party funds into a secret account and accused the flagbearer of sidelining him and Party Chairman, Paul Afoko in his dealings.
According to Mr Agyepong, despite the moves to sideline them, there was an orchestrated effort to deliberately project the General Secretary as someone who was bent on sabotaging the campaign of the flagbearer, Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo.
In an interview on radio Monday morning, Mr Agyepong said he had tried to restrain himself from going public with the matters since he reckoned it bordered on internal party issues.
But since the First Vice Chair, Mr Freddy Blay, and the Treasurer, Mr Abankwa Yeboah chose to go to the “court of public opinion” with the issues and painted him [Agyepong] and the chairman [Afoko] as “bad people” who have decided to exclude the treasurer as a signatory to the bank accounts of the party, an allegation Mr Agyepong said was not true, he had no choice but to also respond to them publicly.
Again since other party members - Osei Kyei-Mensah-Bonsu, Joe Osei-Owusu, Dominic Nitiwul, Ursula Owusu Akuful, Gabby Asare Otchere Darko and Victor Newman all chose to go public on the matter, he felt it could no longer be handled as an internal party issue since it was already in the court of public opinion.
“I am breaking my silence on the matter so that the public would hear the other side. It is with a very deep heart that I have to answer this way.”
The Criminal Investigations Department (CID) of the Ghana Police Service is investigating the First Vice-Chair of the NPP, Mr Freddie Blay, and the Treasurer, Mr Abankwa Yeboah, over the alleged diversion of party funds. According to the police, the two had expended party funds without resorting to laid down procedure.
Responding to the issues on Accra-based radio - Okay FM Monday morning, Mr Agyepong said there was everything wrong with the decision of the Treasurer and the First Vice Chair to re-activate an account of the party at Ecobank without the knowledge of the party Chairman and General Secretary.
He said it was the Treasurer who first confessed on August 10, 2015 at a special meeting of the Finance Committee that the said account had been re-activated.
The matter was referred to the National Executive Committee on August 18 and the Volta Regional Chairman, Mr Peter Amewu, even commented that it bordered on criminality and that if it were to be any corporate organization, the Treasurer would have been sacked. A sub-committee was then formed to go into the matter.
According to Mr Agyepong, he traveled to the United States and in his absence, he got information on August 27 that someone had complained to the police and the police had written to him for a response.
The next thing he heard was Freddie Blay and Abankwa Yeboah choosing to go to the court of public opinion.
Mr Agyepong denied squandering party funds as alleged by Mr Blay and Mr Yeboah and said the Treasurer had all the party cheque books in his possession.
He said the responses provided by the two to the sub-committee looking into the matter are already all over on the internet.
The allegation that the Treasurer has been excluded as a signatory to the account of the party was not true since by convention of the party, it was for the three, Chairman, General Secretary and Treasurer who has always been signatories, Mr Agyepong said.
It is also not true that the Chairman or the General Secretary has refused to sign any mandate card presented to them because Freddie Blay had been added as an account signatory.
“The first time I saw the mandate card was when I went to Ecobank on August 11. The Bank refused to show me the file explaining I was not a signatory to the account.”
With the bank agreeing to reactivate the account with the name NPP 2010 account, and accepting bankers draft with the name on it as NPP headquarters means, “something untoward has happened and we are all worried about it. All we are doing is to try and protect the finances of the party and send it to where it is required.”
Mr Agyepong said it was not true that only monies meant for the Talensi by-election has been taken out of that account.
“I have seen a copy of that account and there has been two tranches of Gh?300,000 amounting to Gh?600,000 taken out by the Treasurer in his name. And then another Gh?430,000 also taken out, and another Gh?81,000 taken out by the Nasara Coordinator. The question is who authorized these payments because I have not authorized any disbursements, the chairman has also not authorized anything. You as the treasurer does not have authority to take out money without authorization.”
Over a million has been taken out of that account and that has not been explained to anybody and then with the Talensi by-election, the budget was not a million. The explanation that the money was there in the account is not true as explained by the two. Also the decision to invest in treasury bills, the Treasurer alone cannot decide on that. For the basis of accountability, me as General Secretary has to make it public because they were first to go public, Mr Agyepong said.
On suggestions that the Chairman and General Secretary were the ones behind the complainant [Baah Achamfour] in sending the matter to the police, Mr Agyepong said he was a fearless person and that if something untoward happens in the party, he would not need to hide behind somebody to fight.
"In fact, if after the party’s investigations and we see any criminality we would be in the forefront to make sure that due process of the law is followed. I wanted to respect the party’s internal investigations and did not go public, why did the Vice Chairman and Treasurer choose to go public?"
Mr Agyepong expressed worry that in spite of these, there was an orchestrated effort to deliberately project the General Secretary as someone who was bent on sabotaging the campaign of the Flagbearer.
According to Mr Agyepong over the last one month he has been making conscious efforts to try to synchronize his programmes and that of the Flagbearer so as to be present wherever the Flagbearer would be but there have been machinations to sideline him.
He mentioned the Flagbearer’s visit to Kwame Nkrumah Circle after the June 3 flood and fire disaster where even though they were aware he was joining them, they didn’t wait and left him behind. ”They left me they couldn’t even wait for me.”
Again when we were going to James Town recently a similar thing happened, I had to chase them there. When we were going to Akropong on the death the Omanhene, Addo Dankwa, I waited for them at Aburi but the convoy passed without waiting for me.
“All these treatments that I’ve gone through, I have not said anything but the impression is that me rather, was trying to sabotage the chances of the Flagbearer. I have surrendered my case to God.”
He also mentioned the last press conference of the party which talked about the electoral register at Alisa Hotel in Accra and said the Chairman [Paul Afoko] was not informed until the morning of the press conference.
“I had to prevail on him to come and sit in it. When he sat in it, he was seeing the presentation for the first time and me as General Secretary saw the presentation 10 minutes before I went to the Electoral Commission with Dr Bawumia. Why are we being treated this way, when we are trying our best to support the party?
He said learnt about Akufo Addo's "Arise and Build" month long national tour on the internet..
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